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A £10million project to better protect Deal from flooding is getting underway this month.
It will see tidal defences strengthened along that part of the Kent coast to reduce the risk of tidal flooding to more than 1,500 homes and businesses in the town.
It will also protect other key assets including the Thanet Coast and Sandwich Bay Special Protection Area and Ramsar Site, the Sandwich Bay Special Area of Conservation; the railway line between Ramsgate and Dover in addition to historic monuments and listed buildings in North Deal.
As part of the project a new 200m long rock barrier will be created north of Sandown Castle that will significantly improve the standard of protection from coastal flooding and reduce the risk of a breach.
Around 120,000 cubic metres of shingle will also be delivered via a pipeline from an offshore dredger to bolster the beach against the tides. The shingle will act as a natural defence against tidal wave action and will be moved into place with bulldozers and dumper trucks from mid September, subject to weather conditions, for a period of three weeks. This work will ensure that the beach is prepared well in advance of winter storms.
The final phase of the project will involve a 410 metre long wave wall being constructed just south of Stanley Road and ending at King Street. The new wave wall is designed to reduce wave energy and direct the waves back into the sea. It will also reduce the amount of shingle which is thrown up onto the road. The overlapping design will reduce the power of the waves while maintaining public access to the promenade.
Ian Nunn, Environment Agency Operations Manager, said: "It is expected that all elements of the project will be substantially complete by Christmas this year, subject to favourable weather conditions. Whilst this essential work to protect Deal is being carried out, there may be some slight disruption and inconvenience to local residents, but we aim to keep any disturbance to the local community to a minimum."
Charlie Elphicke, MP for Dover and Deal, said: "This is a big project that will make a big difference to Deal. It will make Deal safer for years to come, but also change the look of the seafront. So, as works begin, do go and see the exhibition at the Royal Hotel to see what it will look like and the changes the works will bring.?
Local residents and businesses will be kept informed throughout the duration of the project with regular updates on the Environment Agency's web site and with newsletters delivered to those properties directly affected by the works.
There will also be updates posted at the entrance to the Pier and also a small exhibition about the scheme being held at the Royal Hotel from the week commencing 10 September.